Where Can You See Blue Whales in California?

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Blue whales are one of the largest animals that ever existed on earth, spanning lengths between 82 and 98ft! Due to their incredible size, blue whales have never actually been weighed, but scientists estimate they weigh around 300,000 lbs (for perspective, this is equivalent to a few dozen elephants!). These majestic giants are home to ocean waters all over the world, typically migrating from arctic regions in the summer to warmer regions in the winter. This migration pattern is dictated primarily by the availability of food. The arctic regions during winter become inhospitable and force the blue whales to migrate thousands of miles over several weeks to reach warmer ocean waters where they can feed and mate.

When to See Blue Whales in California

Even though the blue whale is incredibly large, their specific migration pattern remains largely an enigma to scientists. What is known is that the migration patterns of the Pacific blue whale population occur between the regions of Alaska and Costa Rica. During this journey, they can be spotted in several places off the California coast typically during the summer months between mid-June and October. It is during this time that they appear more frequently due to the higher concentration of krill in the waters – the perfect feeding season!

Where to See Blue Whales off the California Coast

Witnessing a blue whale anywhere is an extremely rare occurrence. Blue whales commonly live alone and do not travel in pack or groups seen in other baleen species, making their appearance more difficult to anticipate. Because blue whales feed far away from shore, you will not be able to spot them on land. To get the best opportunity to spot a blue whale, check out any of these California coasts for whale watching excursions, where blue whale sightings have been more dense.

Long Beach – One of the best places to spot blue whales is off Long Beach in Los Angeles. The whale population off the coast of California is almost 2,000 – one of the healthiest populations in the world! Long Beach is a prime location to see these majestic giants as they make their way toward Baja California.

Monterey Bay – Monterey Bay historically has seen many blue whale sightings over the years, due to the high concentration of krill in the area. Recently this past summer, there have been many whale sightings occur in August.

San Diego – Another great spot to see blue whales is off the coast of San Diego, near the Mexican border. The best time to see these marine giants is August through October, when they are making their way down the coast.

What You’ll Get to See

If you take a whale watching excursion and get the wonderful opportunity to see a blue whale, be sure to know what to look for. Because they feed on krill, you might spot a blue whale grazing the surface of the ocean. When they do, you will either see their spout or part of their back as they come up to feed. After they graze the surface, you’ll also be able to see their tail fluke at the end poke out of the water. Blue whale sightings are truly incredible because you get a sense of just how massive they can be underwater!

Ready to See Blue Whales?

If you’re excited about seeing a blue whale, all aboard to Harbor Breeze! We offer some of the most popular whale excursions in Long Beach and Los Angeles – and for good reason. Our captains have decades of experience manning our ships to see some of the most impressive whale sightings. Our naturalists on board will educate and excite you about the natural wonders of the sea. Book your trip today for a memory you and the family will never forget!


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